Donations – An Essential Guide, Part 3

Donations can cause unintended strain
Donations of Emergency Services equipment to the Global South come from all types of sources and include a variety of brands of kit. Donating entities collect whatever they will and bundle goods into shipments that ideally match the needs of the recipient. But the considerably haphazard donations course of can find yourself creating added strain on the Global South recipient departments. After all, it is exhausting enough maintaining a standardized inventory of apparatus. But imagine now having a mix of equipment, each with slightly totally different characteristics and attributes – gear, instruments and vehicles with completely different manuals in case you have them, completely different spare components when you need them, specialist technical assist if by some means you can get access to it regionally, and often instructions that aren’t within the local language of recipient firefighters.
Moreover, I truly have seen donated gear arrive in recipient international locations that is clearly marked as out of service (OOS), unserviceable (U/S), unrepairable, failed and even ‘unsafe–do not use’. Also frequent is damaged or incomplete tools; PPE that’s torn, nonetheless dirty with blood, or without thermal liners; cracked helmets with no face shields or internal shell; SCBA masks with no harnesses or exhalation valves; seized pumps; and, the most common of all, punctured fireplace hose.
Donations usually include written disclaimers from some Global North organizations, absolving them from any guarantee, assure and responsibility for accident, injury or mechanical failure after supply. But legal legal responsibility is hardly the largest concern of a recipient department trying to shield its personnel. Clear fit-for-duty circumstances ought to all the time be met by a donation to ensure it serves its intended objective.
Lastly, many donors count on the host nation or recipient department to cowl some prices – delivery, import duties and flights for volunteers offering training and attending the handover. And whereas there are good arguments for cost-sharing (including that it encourages accountability on the a half of the recipient), these prices can be substantial for recipients who in many circumstances can’t afford fundamental, new belongings. These costs put important pressure on the recipient departments and may find yourself in donations being caught in warehouses for months or years while recipients wait for somebody to pay taxes and costs to get the equipment ‘released’ for use.
Are we encouraging risk?
I actually have seen many forms of gear that require common, specialist care and statutory control which have arrived in the arms of overseas personnel having failed or exceeded the permissible standards expected in the nation of origin. Used ladders, hoses, pumps, chemical safety fits, medical supplies, radiation and gas-monitoring devices, lines, lifejackets, vertical rescue gear, etc. all cascade their means right down to international locations where they’re used and trusted by these with less regulatory protection. Firefighters in the Global South are no less brave than their counterparts in richer nations. เกจ์วัดแรงดันน้ำมันเครื่อง use must still be safe.
It considerations me – and I actually have seen this in the area – that some sorts of sophisticated donated tools usually encourage firefighters to tackle emergencies that they haven’t any training or ability to deal with. In many cases, they expose themselves to far greater threat, as they have neither the expertise nor the coaching alternatives that Global North responders have.
Responders in emerging markets don’t have the posh of calling the local power or gasoline firm to isolate the supply to a property before they enter. They might face saved home gasoline bottles, unauthorized electrical energy connections, unlawful constructing standards, and different hazards that make their operations especially precarious. But armed with their newly donated gear, they sometimes assume that they’re higher protected to enter these dangers than before, once they had nothing.
Ask yourself should you would truthfully be okay with utilizing donated equipment that has failed certification or handed its usable date in your personal every day emergencies, not to mention beneath these circumstances?
Some donor businesses that ship their personnel to provide short-term, basic training issue their own ‘certificates of attendance and/or competence’. But attendance just isn’t the same as mastery. A firefighter receiving a donation is unlikely to ask if the overseas professional is really certified to teach them a few specific piece of kit. Unless certifications are endorsed or acknowledged by a real requirements agency within the host nation and the instructors have current qualifications and legal authority to concern them outside their own country, the practice is questionable.
In some ways, skilled steerage is even more necessary than the donated tools itself. If we need to stop donation-driven threat taking by Global South first responders, we need to not solely donate gear that is fit for duty but additionally support our donations with certified folks on the ground, working hand in hand with the native personnel for an appropriate time frame to appropriately guide and certify customers in operations and maintenance.
Donations ought to drive budget
Finally, donations do not routinely remedy the equipment and coaching void in rising markets, and in some cases, they will truly exacerbate the problem. Global South firefighters asking for foreign assist are doing so as a outcome of their local authorities both lack the necessary funds or don’t see their needs as a priority. But the truth is that in many nations’ governments, officers often have little understanding of the trade. They assume that donated used gadgets are a useful answer to a budget shortfall. A short-term repair maybe. But in the lengthy term, the objective have to be to motivate governments to deal with the real short- and long-term wants of their Emergency Services personnel and actually spend money on the development of high quality Emergency Services for his or her nations. A fast repair could take the stress off temporarily, but the important discussion about long-term financing between departments and their governments needs to be happening sooner, not later.
In the tip, there is not any shortcutting quality. Donations must be high quality equipment, licensed for use and ideally, the place potential, the identical or related brands as these being used at present by recipients. Equipment wants to return with real training from practitioners with present experience on the gear being obtained. Recipients must be educated so the new tools can make them safer, not create additional danger. And donations mustn’t end a dialog about price range – they want to be a half of a dialog about larger standards and better service that relies on a selection of new, recycled and donated equipment that really serves the ever-expanding needs of the global Emergency Services community.
Please keep a watch out for the fourth and ultimate instalment of this text subsequent month, where I will illustrate factors to think about when making a donation, as nicely as suggestions to ensure successful donations you can really feel proud of.
Chris Gannon
Chris Gannon has spent 29 years within the business as a national Fire Chief, government advisor, CEO of Gannon Emergency Solutions, and has constructed a status as a pioneer in reviewing and bettering Emergency Services around the world. For more info, please go to or
GESA (Global Emergency Services Action)
GESA is a world non-profit founded in 2020 by chief companies within the Emergency Services sector. GESA is a coalition of companies, consultants and practitioners working collectively to change the future of the worldwide Emergency Services market. We are at present creating our flagship platform – the GESA Equipment Exchange – a web-based tool that will connect Global South departments with producers, consultants, trainers and suppliers to tie donations to a sustainable, longer-term pipeline of gross sales and repair. For more information, membership inquiries and extra, please contact

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